Friday, March 19, 2010

Why It's Called the Rain Forest

Wednesday morning after breakfast we hiked into the jungle to a kapock tree, around which a wooden scaffolding had been built.  At the top, we were above the jungle canopy and had incredible views of the lush green sea. Our purpose there was to look for birds.  I have never gone bird watching before, but now that I have i can say that i don´t enjoy it. Don´t misunderstand - i like seeing the birds, but when you are waiting for birds to appear, it is very dull.  Fortunately, we didn´t have to wait long. We saw bright blue swallow tanagers and brilliant red summer tanagers, parrots, and many other birds the names of which I cannot recall.  Later that day we saw flocks of nighthawks, black vultures and toucans flying overhead.
Our bird watching was cut short however when a heavy rain came out of nowhere.  We climbed down the tree and put on our ponchos. Some people wanted to return to their huts, so Bolivar took them back. They rest of us went on a rain walk with Marco. We were wearing ponchos and wellingtons, so we were quite protected. The rain was amazingly heavy. The whole forest became intensely green and thick with mud. It was quite a lot of fun. Aside from a few frogs, there isn´t much to see when it rains like that, because all of the animals hide, but it was a great experience. 
Later that day, while walking, I spotted a black millipede. When i saw my first one the other day i was fascinated by it, but wouldn´t touch it. This time however, i felt brave and i let it crawl on my hand.  Its many feet tickled a bit and it was not slimy. It was covered with shiny black armor. I am making progress in my fear of insects!
large cockroach seen during dinner
In the afternoon we tried our hands at piranha fishing. We had fishing line and hooks baited with chunks of raw meat. I did not have any luck. The piranhas, happily ate my bait, but i couldn´t get them on the line. A few people did catch some though and they ate them for dinner later that evening.
In the evening, we hung out and chatted and I read and went outside for a while to look at the stars and lightening.  The rain quieted our activities a bit, but it was a very nice, relaxing day.
Later, when i returned to my hut for the night, there was a brightly painted wooden tortoise on my bed - a parting gift from the lodge. It really is a wonderful place. I recommend it highly.  

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